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Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

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Reunions mobile website available to visiting alumni for second year

The 20,000 alumni and other guests expected to return to campus for Reunions this year will have access to a mobile website that provides a wide range of information designed to help attendees more easily navigate the celebrations.

Reunions Mobile, which was developed last year by the Office of Information Technology (OIT) and the Office of the Alumni Association, is a website optimized for use on mobile devices and is designed to work on a range of smart phones, including the iPhone, Blackberry and Droid. According to the Alumni Association, the University was one of the first colleges to develop such a site for its alumni.

The site is a streamlined source for information built upon the schedule of open events that is made available to all registered attendees, and will include event schedules, maps, news alerts and many other useful and important details about Reunions.

Additionally, Reunions Mobile will help returning alumni and their guests answer questions throughout the weekend, said Liz Greenberg, associate director for regional affairs and interim social media coordinator for the Office of the Alumni Association. For example, visitors to the site will be able to see which bands are playing at each headquarters' site, look up hotel and campus shuttle routes and times, receive real-time updates and alerts and even find the words to Princeton cheers and songs.

"Alumni reaction to Reunions Mobile last year was very positive," said Greenberg. "The usage numbers suggest that many alumni found the site helpful throughout the weekend."

This year's site will feature several updated features, including live Twitter feeds broadcasting general announcements and news. Users also will have access to detailed P-rade information such as concession stand and rest area locations. Also, the site will contain individual class websites as well as a page devoted to the history of Reunions.

The idea for Reunions Mobile emerged during a February 2009 meeting of the Alumni Council's Executive Committee, which is the volunteer governing body of the Alumni Association of Princeton University. During the meeting, several members remarked how convenient it would be to have a one-stop smart phone site for all Reunions-related information, which traditionally only appeared in the printed schedule of events.

The design of the mobile site was a cooperative effort between OIT's Web Development Services unit, which was responsible for the site's overall look, feel and functionality, and the classes and Reunions staff, who were responsible for the site's content.

During last year's Reunions weekend, the site experienced 10,438 page views, 3,123 visits and 1,143 unique visitors. Seventy-three percent of visitors used the site more than once, and it is expected these figures will be higher this year, as both the number of alumni who have smart phones continues to increase and word continues to spread about the site’s availability, said Greenberg.

Alumni can access the site at http://m.princeton.edu/reunions.

Also, for the first time, individuals attending the University’s Commencement activities will have access to a mobile website -- http://m.princeton.edu/commencement -- that provides general information about the activities taking place Sunday through Tuesday, May 30 to June 1. The site was developed by the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students and the Office of the Vice President and Secretary in cooperation with OIT.

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